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     Leonard L.
     Larry B.
     Larry H.
 

   

 

   

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An Alternative Sentencing Program
utilizing the Transcendental Stress Management®  program for Rehabilitation and Criminal Justice Reform

 

Experiences of Graduates of TESP - 2001

Leonard L. - Best Essay, 2001

"When I started this program I was very excited to hear that this program was affiliated with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  I have wanted to learn this technique for about ten years now.  I regret I had to learn it under these circumstances but at least a lot of positive things have come out of my probation.

Before I started the meditation program there was always violence and anger and stress everywhere.  Now that I’m into meditation things are a lot easier.  I feel a lot better about myself and I don’t need the drugs or anything else to convince me that I am a good person.  Drugs give you a false sense of confidence and achievement like you can achieve anything.  Well now, I know I really can.  I can do anything…anything I want.  All I have to do is to set my mind to it.  Meditation is the truck that gets me there.  It’s my vehicle to do what I need to do – and for the rest of my life. I’m just glad I got it. 

I have been able to repair a damaged relationship with two of my children and been given a chance to start a relationship with my oldest daughter who I hadn’t seen in ten years.  This is because I have been able to think more clearly and I don’t get upset nearly as quickly as I used to.  My youngest daughter was badly burnt not too long ago and I have been able to be a positive force in her recovery.  I have been very fortunate to have been given this golden opportunity to turn my life around.

I have been able to refrain from drug use for quite some time now.  I quit smoking cigarettes right before I started this program and it is without a doubt an effortless thing for me to do.  I simply have no desire to smoke.

With my children it was cocaine.  To start out I was selling cocaine to friends.  Then I started doing it myself.  The next thing you know the kids were around and I’d do it still.  They could see that this was going on.  Children are not stupid.  Finally, they said something to their mom about it and my wife said something to me but I just couldn’t stop.  Okay, I said, I’d hide it better.  That is what I basically did.  I hid it better.  I’m a lot clearer now.  It’s like opening up a window – if the glass is opaque you can’t see.  The more you meditate the clearer the glass becomes.

Now that I am not doing drugs or selling drugs or affiliated with this kind of drug society, my children like me a lot better now.  We have a lot more fun when we are together.  We go to amusement parks and car shows – we enjoy being around each other. 

TSM has made me more happy.  It has made my life more peaceful which in turn brings the happiness.  I can find happiness in things I didn’t find it before.  Now I can smell a flower and give a little smile.  Before, I’d kick the flower off the root because it held no joy for me.  I could find misery in everything joyful.  I could go to a wedding and find a reason to be depressed about.  And now I could go to a funeral and find a reason to be joyful about it.  There are reasons to be joyful every day. 

I was never happy.  My kids will tell you “that’s just Daddy, he’s just crabby”.  And now – the other day we went to Six Flags amusement park and it started raining.  Last year I’d have been upset because it was raining.  This year we were dancing through the park.  Me and my two daughters were skipping through the park holding hands.  We were having the time of our life and it was pouring down.  It was great.  I loved it.  It was incredible.  It was the best time I ever had there, running through the rain, acting crazy.  Acting like a twelve-year old. 

My ex-wife – when I was talking to her – she was like “where was this person ten years ago, when we first got together, where was this guy?”  I don’t know.  I guess he was buried somewhere and now he’s here.  She couldn’t believe I was the same person she was married to.  She really couldn’t.  She was like shocked.  She was like “wow!”  She didn’t know what to think.  She knew me when I was so different. 

People I work with are amazed “are you sure that’s you?”  I used to get upset about little things.  Now I have to think about it for days to be upset about something.  There are still things, like the things in New York – that was upsetting.  What can I do about that?  Donate blood, I guess. 

Since starting TSM, I don’t dwell on all the negative energy.  I try to find the positive.  Before I would just focus on the horrible aspect and I wouldn’t focus on the good aspects of anything.  Now that I focus on the good aspects I find it easier for me to be happy. 

I’m thankful to Judge Heagney for giving me this opportunity.  Some other judge might have put me in jail.  I’m thankful he sent me to this program.  This is the best thing that ever happened to me.  Of all the things in my life, this is the most positive thing that has ever happened – outside of the birth of my children.  Nothing could top that; but this is right up there with it.” 


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Larry B.

"I am a bronchial asthmatic and had a real problem with my breathing.  Since I started doing TSM and the breathing exercise I no longer have to use my inhaler.  I have calmed down a lot.  Three weeks ago I had a physical done and my blood pressure had gone way down.

I used to be real lazy.  I didn’t want to participate in things.  I didn’t want to do nothing.  Now I am energetic.  I get out of bed in the morning without any difficulty.  I just get up and my wife would be looking at me like “How do you do this every day?”  I got energy.  I just got a lot of energy.

I am a cook and I find I am less irritable at work when customers complain.  I don’t jump off the gun.  I listen to what a person has to say first.  Every time I go to work I get complimented on my work.

My wife encourages me a lot.  She tells me “go to your class, go to your class”.  TSM has brought out a softer side of me.  I want to keep coming to my classes after I graduate, just to keep on meditating regularly.

I have set myself new goals.  I am thinking of going back to school; something I never did achieve – get my diploma.  My goal is to get my GEDS.  I have already signed up for the classes.  If I can get that piece of paper I can get a way better job than what I have now.  After my GEDS I’d like to go to carpentry school – I am good with my hands.”
 

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Larry H.

"I am writing to thank you for referring me to the enlighten sentencing program.  It has been an experience and a benefit to me professionally and personally.  As you know I'm a person who Ms Joyce ... [identity protected] term a career criminal.  Although I didn't know until my sentencing that at the age of 48 I had accumulated 51 arrests and over six convictions in my lifetime.  With Transcendental Stress Management I have come full circle with it.  I can now live a productive life in society.

When I started my journey through the criminal justice system at the age of 22, until now I have never been given the benefit or opportunity of rehabilitation.  I was always incarcerated.  Transcendental Stress Management has helped me with stress and the anger inside me.  I used to smoke cigarettes and since meditation I have quit.  My life with my family was always in jeopardy.  I had a lot of tension and stress - my wife would call the police at least 10 or 15 times a month.  They have become accustomed to us arguing but since mediation they haven't called once.

On my way home from work last night I saw one of the officers and he asked me how things were going and commended me on the change in my life.  It felt wonderful to hear words of encouragement in my accomplishments from him.  When I met my parole officer I felt intimidated, and worried that I might have made a mistake in accepting probation.  Since then with the help of Transcendental Stress Management I have a greater respect for him, and our relationship is great.  Also, the stress has left me and is no more.

I remember my first day of Transcendental Stress Management Mr. Anklesaria and I had differences but since going through it I have learned that he is a benefit in my life and a great mentor.  I will continue our relationship after graduation because I truly know he has changed my life.

Transcendental Stress Management would be a benefit to the younger generation of people going through the criminal justice system for the first time because it would help them with peer pressure and the stress of living in a bad environment.  My only regret about this is that it wasn't offered to me 28 years ago, because my journey has been sol long and troublesome until Transcendental Stress Management.

My family loves the new me and I am happier than I have ever been with the new me.  Once again, "Thank You” .  Transcendental Stress Management is the way of life for me now and I am grateful for it. God bless you.

 

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The Enlightened Sentencing Project is a 501 (c) 3 organization and is not affiliated with the national Transcendental Meditation organization. Transcendental Stress Management® is the registered trademark of Farrokh and Ruffina F. Anklesaria.  Copyright 2004, The Enlightened Sentencing Project.  Revised 11/07